Discovering the Wines of the Philippines

Discovering the Wines of the Philippines
The Philippines may not be the first place that springs to mind as a big wine producer, but this island country in South East Asia has developed its own home-grown crop of quirky wine products that are well worth introducing to an intrepid palate. Despite all the islands of this archipelago being subject to a powerful rainy season every year, as well as boasting a nice warm climate and rich volcanic soil, the conditions are surprisingly unfavourable for vineyards. Turns out grapes don’t take to the warm weather.
However, though you won’t find red, white or rose champagne being produced here, this hasn’t quelled the country’s wine-makers, who have assessed the options and resolved that with over 9000 other varieties of plant life, grapes are overrated anyway.
10 Filipino Alcoholic Drinks You Should Try Now 4
Photo from Trip or Treats 
Strawberry wine
This lightly pink, sweet nectar has become popular in the Philippines, particularly in the Baguio region. Pick your own fragrant basket of lush berries at the strawberry farm in sun-drenched La Trinidad, Benguet. Visitors can select their own strawberries between November and May but have to pay for the privilege of picking a punnet! After all your hard labour, enjoy a plate of taho – a soya bean dish drizzled with strawberry syrup, or some strawberry ice cream, and of course don’t forget to pick up a bottle of the locally produced strawberry wine, an ideal souvenir to take home.
 Discovering the Wines of the Philippines
Photo from Philrice 
Much of Philippine wine production begins at home, and in the Cordillera region, this fermented rice wine is used for traditional ceremonies and family occasions like weddings. During the Ipitik festival, wine brewers gather to show off their best jars of tapuy, which are typically fermented for between 15 and 17 days. Lucky onlookers might even be invited to try a taste of these painstakingly produced drinks – but be warned, tapuy has quite a kick!
Discovering the Wines of the Philippines 2 Asiatravel
Photo from Asia Travel
Tuba, or palm wine, is made from the sweet sap of palms, and is produced in many countries throughout the world with access to these tropical trees. One of the few visitor-oriented wineries in the country, Crystal Paradise Resort, Spa and Winery in Palawan produces tuba, as well as mango, banana, cashew and coconut varieties, made with purified underground mineral water.
 Discovering the Wines of the Philippines Choose Philippines
 Photo from Choose Philippines
This high-proof coconut ‘wine’ is actually closer to a spirit in nature, and distilled from flowers of the coconut trees that are everywhere in the Philippines. It’s particularly popular among groups of workers after a hard day’s graft, especially as the drinking of lambanog tends to be a communal activity. It is also marketed in a variety of different flavours for tourists, from bubblegum to blueberry.
So if you’re going to South East Asia, check out the Philippines and its fabulous exotic wine collection, you won’t be sorry!
Discovering the Wines of the Philippines

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